Thursday, June 18, 2015

Blogs, aquifers and basic instincts

Good morning, Welcome to Thursday 18 June 2015.

In a comment on Randy McDonald's A Bit more Detail, ianmoore3000 wrote:
I have become quite bad at reading other people’s blogs.Which is bad as I know that part of the internet’s magic is that no one reads your blog if you don’t read anyone else’s.
Ian is right of, of course. It happens to me too. So in that previous paragraph, I have given you links to two blogs, Randy's (always worth a check) plus Ian's World War 1 Live, also worth a check.

Staying with blogging, Evan pointed me to this link on blogging: How To Find Where Your Potential Readers Hang Out. Several people have recently asked me what is involved in establishing/growing a blog. I know after all this time, but just don't focus on it very much. Perhaps a consolidation post along the lines "So you want to become a blogger?"

 In a piece originally from the Washington Post (attributed), the Canberra Times reports New NASA data shows how the world is running out of water. That heading is not quite true. The piece is actually about the way we appear to be depleting some of the world's largest underground aquifers. I have been wondering about that, for the depleting aquifers are in very sensitive areas.

The world's most stressed aquifer — defined as suffering rapid depletion with little or no sign of recharging — was the Arabian Aquifer, a water source used by more than 60 million people. That was followed by the Indus Basin in India and Pakistan, then the Murzuk-Djado Basin in Libya and Niger.

California's current water problems have been widely reported, attracting attention because the area is so populated, wealthy and media centric. California (and the US) has the wealth to resolve the problem. Not so sure about Africa.

Finally, the Canberra Times has a piece that came from Bloomburgs - Don't dismiss Greece's baser instincts - that I want to come back to later.

Have you noticed, by the way, how often I now refer to the Canberra Times? I have actually become quite addicted to it. Fairfax Media has been trumpeting the rise of the Canberra Times web site as one of its successes and indeed it is. But the reason I started going to the Canberra Times is that it carries major stories from other Fairfax .papers that I cannot easily access because of the pay restriction.

As an analyst, it is not unusual for me to, say, hit the Sydney Morning Herald stories eight or nine times in a single day. I always link to those stories I select, but I very quickly run up against the 30 story maximum month intake before the pay wall comes in.

No doubt Fairfax will change this. But, for the moment, the Canberra Times is my major national newspaper and all by historical accident. It's still counted as a Fairfax regional paper dating back to Rural Press.


Interesting piece on the impact of water shortages in India. I'm not able to judge its accuracy.


Anonymous said...

Jim, maybe I'm just a bit grumpy this morning but that "How To" post is very badly written; it does not seem to anywhere answer the question posed; it has itself no comments therefore begs the question; it references the author's twitter account: followers 1185/following 1058 when I checked; it implies that one's success is somehow linked to opening one's self to the analytics involved in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Hangouts, etc. Who needs that crap?

Anyway, as I'm reading it - "it's comments all the way down":

Have a nice day :)


Anonymous said...

Re twits: maybe the guy just forked out $10 with this crowd:


Jim Belshaw said...

I agree with you on the writing, kvd, but there are some points there that I can pick up. Read the New Yorker article with interest.

The analytics are useful, depending on how you want to use them. The same is true, too, of all platforms. I was once obsessive about keeping monthly or even weekly stats. i no longer bother. I still track a very small number of things: my total weekly writing output across all platforms (I know my time inputs)plus comments received from all sources; total number of comments or emails, number of commenters. I also have a diary in which I record activities and specific feedback for later use. I still monitor some of the broader stats, but on an irregular basis.

All this helps me target and evaluate.

That link on twitter is interesting. I don't have time for twitter, although I tweet and monitor the feeds. The problem with the idea of buying twitter followers is what do I do with after I have them?

One interesting feature I notice in all my analysis lies in the way that I abandon the stats as soon as something I am interested in comes up. That's probably true in life too!

Winton Bates said...

Regarding Greece, I have to keep reminding myself that it is an economic problem, rather than a moral problem. It is easy to say that they should be taught a lesson, but I am not sure who "they" are. Perhaps "they" are the political leaders who were responsible for the growth of public spending, but the political system makes them difficult to identify. The lenders bear some responsibility, but the original lenders have already taken a substantial haircut. The political leaders who lied to get Greece into the Euro should feel remorse, but I expect some of them thought that membership of the Euro would impose a disciple on Greek economic policy. It is difficult to blame workers and their representatives for resisting the wage cuts needed to improve competitiveness.
In my view the best way forward is for Greece to be kicked out of the Euro zone as soon as possible. That will not solve the economic problems of Greece, but a substantial devaluation will be a lot easier to achieve than a substantial reduction in nominal wages. There is a lot to be said in favour of a cycle of idevaluation and inflation when the alternative is more unemployment.

Jim Belshaw said...

That's an interesting comment, Winton. There are a variety of ethical issues involved, but in straight economic terms a Greek exit from the Euro may be best. Very difficult, though, because of the difficulty of knowing what might happen.

Greece had (just) come out of recession, I think, when all this started. This BBC piece provides some useful background -

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it still does but the Canberra Times used to have a great political cartoonist on board.

Jim Belshaw said...

It did indeed. I'm not sure. I only see the on-line version, but I haven't noticed recently.